The brand, T.W. Samuels, is the brand created by Bill Samuels’ family. According to the 1900 Mida’s Register of Trademarks, it was first used in 1844. It is an old and respected brand, but during World War II, Bill’s father sold the family distillery and the brand to his partners and retired from the business. Of course, he quickly got bored with retirement life and went on to purchase a distillery and create Maker’s Mark. In 1952, the T.W. Samuels distillery was closed down and Heaven hill purchased seven of the warehouses and the brand. The bottle Matt and I tasted was a Heaven Hill distilled version of the brand. 

T.W. Samuels Bourbon ca. 1970

Proof: 86

Age: Six Years Old


  • Mike: Corn and vanilla with a hint of berries, leather and oak.
  • Matt: Caramel and brown sugar with some grassy grain notes and oak. Reminiscent of a Charleston Chew candy.


  • Mike: Corn and vanilla, citrus notes with cardamom and allspice with oak and leather. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the vanilla comes forward and the berries are defined as raspberry and blackberry. Tasted with a pecan and it is all about the corn, citrus oak and leather.
  • Matt: Caramel, brown sugar and ripe, red delicious apples with a little oak wood. Tasted with the dried cranberry and the caramel apple is enhanced and a note of cinnamon is added. Tasted with the pecan it becomes a sweet candy with chocolate, caramel, brown sugar and molasses.


  • Mike: Long, with oak and spice that becomes more peppery as it proceeds in the finish. The dried cranberry made the finish less spicy and adds a note of berry sweetness. The pecan made the finish very long with oak, citrus and lots of black pepper spice.
  • Matt: Medium long with sweet oak and tobacco notes. The dried cranberry made the finish longer and spicier with notes of black pepper. The pecan gave the finish notes of chocolate, sweet oak and tobacco.

I would pair this vintage Bourbon with my pipe. My Kremer’s Black Royal pipe tobacco has notes of vanilla and coffee that would pair well with the fruit notes and pepper spice of this Bourbon.

Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller